Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.
~ Vince Lombardi
What’s wrong with some grading practice?
Couldn’t you use more of that?
Doesn’t practice make perfect?
You mean that you have plenty to grade already?
Look what we found in your comments and suggestions:
We’re in assessments, grading away like crazy. What if, by the students’ names, we could have something indicating if they’re honors status? That’ll save a lot of time when students who aren’t taking honors accidentally do those assignments — we won’t end up grading them by accident.
Let’s put that red Honors status flag where it might do the most good!
Perhaps it makes sense in worksheets or exams?
How about in assignment feedback or when looking at your workflow?
They all made sense, so why not? These updates are in effect for teachers AND assistants.
Finding a student really needed a facelift. The old design was replaced with the new table look and feel. The search fields have remained the same; they just look a lot better. Things change after your search is displayed.
The school of record has been added to the student’s name. The field columns have all become sortable now.
Segment information and Honors status have also been added. The more information you can see without impacting your progress or view seems to be a big plus.
Speaking of segment information …
Many of you have asked for the ability to sort your workload by segment … just look at segment one or segment two assignments. The same filter will also apply to assistants as well. And finally … you can tell your students to do the same thing!
That’s right! Students will now be able to look at their workload and sort by segment as well. Are some students having trouble by working in segments where they don’t intend to be? Why not suggest they take the time to filter by segment? We thought it was a good idea. What do you think?
It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.
~ Arthur Conan Doyle
Take the back roads instead of the highways.
~ Minnie Pearl
You have planned a long-distance trip and a route.
You have figured out the costs and the stops.
You’ve researched a bit about the weather and the highways.
You’ve estimated your journey as well as you could.
You have even planned a stop for fuel and food near a well-populated area.
You’re on the way, and the highway warnings appear. There are construction roadblocks and massive traffic jams.
Get out that GPS and look for alternate routing.
Off the highway and on the side roads you stumble over some fascinating roadside attractions.
The goal remained the same, but this diversion brings new surprises.
What does this have to do with email?
After a day of reading the Facebook page, the developers saw fit to adjust things.
After last week’s upgrade some problems (traffic jams) occurred.
The major problem was selecting course lists when teachers served as teachers or assistants in multiple courses with the same ID and name.
How could you possibly pick the “right” class when faced with this list?
Getting off the highway, our development team ventured down the back roads. In just one day a new drop-down has been added to your email messaging center. Take a look!
The Course ID and the teacher name now appear in the drop-down. As long as you know the name of the teacher, you will be able to find the right course shell. We apologize for the 24-hour inconvenience. Please let us know how this works for you now.
It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
~ Ernest Hemingway
If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.
~ W. Clement Stone
Where do you spend most of your time when you are not working? You probably spend it at home, right? For most of you that’s also where you spend your time while you are working anyway. Think about home.
It’s should feel good. Hopefully, that’s how it feels for you. You have your “stuff” in your space, and it has the unique comfort of familiarity. Going way out on a limb here … it’s probably safe to say that even with all the junk in the drawers, and the shoes on the floor, and the laundry to be done, and the marks on the walls, and the drip in the sink … it’s your home, your sacred space, and you’re happy that it’s there. Most of us are fortunate enough to probably concur with that.
Enough about that; what about Educator?
Educator is where you work. It’s a place. It’s your office. And we at Ucompass are really thankful that you are here. We work for you; we work with you. Our job is service. Indeed we design, build, and support learning software, but we think of ourselves as a service company, serving you and your students what you need to succeed in your jobs of teaching and learning. We are thankful for this opportunity.
As Clement Stone’s quote above suggests, it’s time again for us to share.
What is the most important tool at your disposal in the Educator learning management system? While some might argue otherwise, email seems to be a most critical function. So, for this time called Thanksgiving, sharing some home improvements definitely seems in order. Pay a visit to your new message section …
We are going to focus here on the teacher and TA view. Both roles will function the same way. The SCHOOL column has been added to join the STUDENT and COURSE columns. As you might expect, all columns are fully sortable. To the far left you will recognize the familiar TO, CC, and BCC check boxes that still SELECT ALL entries below. You can now UNCHECK any selections at will. Before looking at the FILTER boxes (labeled 1, 2, 3 above), it’s most important to go over the golden rule of filters.
GOLDEN RULE of FILTERS:
Do all filtering first; then select.
In other words … do NOT select ANY recipients until you have completed your filtering.
Remember … FILTER FIRST.
Take a look at the three filters. The COURSE FILTER presents a drop-down of all your courses. Selecting one course will email everyone in that course. Filter #2 will SHOW ONLY the group selected. The FILTER text box works like all others text filters you have seen. So, for example …
To send an email only to all students in Course 123:
1 – COURSE FILTER to course 123
2 – SHOW ONLY students
3 – Check the TO box in the top row
To send an email to all TA’s in all your classes:
1 – SHOW ONLY assistants
2 – Check the TO box in the top row
The RESET and SET buttons below are very handy.
If you ever want to erase it all and start over, hit RESET. Once you are satisfied that things are addressed the way you want, you must select SET RECIPIENT LIST in order to successfully address an email. How will you know that an email is properly addressed? It’s not possible to check through every name on the message page, but you will see a notice calling for you to HOVER FOR RECIPIENT LIST.
You will see a very partial list of recipients and a call to return to the list you had previously set. Click on RECIPIENT LIST, and it will take you back to that first window. Check your work. Examine the checkmarks. You can always RESET them to a clean slate, if you need to start over again.
Once you get accustomed to the interface, we think you’ll appreciate the new power here. Please let us know. Thank you once again for allowing us to serve you and your students.
The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.
~ William Blake
May the Force be with you.
~ General Jan Dodonna, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Let’s begin by putting this into your own words …
When we do a course-wide force, the individual forces override the course-wide force. Many of us use weekly forcing slides but would like to use a course-wide force for special occasions like Thanksgiving. However, I do not want to delete all those individual weekly forces. I would have to write down all the forces or start from scratch. It would be awesome if I could toggle to have the course-wide force override the individual forces.
I have so many courses that it would be amazing if I didn’t have to upload it to every class individually. Is there a way I can upload it 1 time and then select the courses I want it posted to?
Can we specify a date range to have it posted in each course? I’m actually not sure how the forcing slides work. When students login do they see it every time until I remove it? or does it only come up the first time?
Be able to override slides for the entire class. Currently, you have to delete individual student slides in order to force a slide for everyone.
I think it would be great if there were a place in the course where I could CHANGE that priority temporarily – make the GROUP slide override the INDIVIDUAL slide for a day or a week, and then toggle back to the individual forcing slides overriding the group ones.
Sounds like you were forcing us to pay more attention to forcing, doesn’t it? So we did!
Your forcing area (STUDENTS > FORCING) now has new power and ease of use. As soon as you go there, you’ll notice the difference. The highlighted red areas below are all that was there before now.
Notice that you can now set expiration dates for the forcing! All actions/forces will remain in effect until 11:59pm of the set expiration date. The new drop-down list should save a lot of hunting for Object ID numbers and the like.
Hitting the down arrow (or any key) will bring up a handy list of choices. The LINK section at the bottom of this list navigates through any files you have placed in your MY FOLDERS area.
Did you notice the new power choices toward the bottom? You will now get to select whether or not course-wide forcing overrides individual forcing. The choice is yours, and you can even set a date! So … no matter what individual slides you might have set, you can now wish every student a Happy Thanksgiving for a day or two.
There are still individual forcing conditions that can be set. You can click at the bottom of this forcing page. You will come to a list of all students where you can set an expiration date and use the drop-down forcing selector for each student.
There is yet another way to set individual forcing pages.
Enter a particular student’s grade report. There’s a new link in the top section, Forcing Resource. Clicking that link will bring you to a now-familiar drop-down box and date field.
We trust these improvements will make your forcing life a bit smoother and less tedious. Be sure to let us know.
We don’t imagine that we will be crossing paths next Thursday night. There will be far too many turkey sandwiches to make! Visiting us here next Tuesday night, however, could be a wonderful idea. <Hint? >
The Force will be with you … always.
~ Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
There is nothing insignificant in the world. It all depends on the point of view.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Those of you who have been following these pages for the past forty-three weeks (!) know that we create large times and small times. The crowd here vacillates between cheering so loudly that the Internet backbone reverberates to politely applauding while sipping afternoon tea. We can sometimes predict your reaction; there are other times when we are taken by surprise. Let’s just get right to the point here …
At least once between now and Thanksgiving, you will have cause to reverberate that backbone. Your dance card might actually get filled twice based on what is sitting on the horizon. For some of you it might well be tea-time today.
This was actually a request from a couple of teachers. You wanted the ability to quickly and readily view a student’s workload. Why would this matter? Why would you want to easily be able to see EXACTLY what a student sees in his/her workload? So, here’s how to get there …
Navigate to your STUDENTS and select a particular students grade report. Between the LAST SIGNED IN and LAST ASSESSMENT sections, there will be a link for STUDENT’S WORKLOAD. Click on that link and a separate pop-up window will open.
(Please note: The developers did not want you to be taken away from your version of the student’s gradebook.) As for that pop-up window …
It looks like the one above. This is the same view that the student would have. You’re on the phone, and you are sharing the same numbers and layout as the student (or parent).
Now what? Forgot to tell you …
Ucompass attended the iNacol Blended and Online Learning Conference a couple of weeks ago in Orlando.
We met some wonderful people, explored some interesting trends, and shared a booth space with FLVS. The Global teams and Florida services were out in full force, and it proved to be a valuable experience.
Jessica Lowe, the Principal of the Leon County Virtual School, joined Julie Young, CEO of FLVS, and Edward Mansouri, CEO of Ucompass, as they delivered a joint presentation about the march toward blended learning.
There is a press release posted on the Ucompass website regarding this inaugural effort. The blended landscape is definitely an arena that both FLVS and Ucompass will populate successfully.
In the end … we are all just doing our part to take those steps that make the world of learning a better place. The choice for each of us is to sit back and ride it out, or we can get out the compass and get moving to boldly go where none have gone. We just prefer the latter.
An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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